Written on: 25/05/2012 by Clive1949
We visited the Autumn NEC Caravan show on the Saturday without any intention of buying a caravan. However after spending a short time with a very persuasive Wandahome saleman we rashly signed a contract to buy a caravan costing over £20,000 and gave a (required minimum) £2,000 credit card deposit which we were told would not 'taken' until the 'following week when back at the office'.
My copy of the contract was the bottom carbon one with the 'conditions and terms' on the reverse which I had obviously not had the opportunity to see until handed to me after I signed.
However, on the way home we had serious doubts about the deal and the logistics of buying from a dealer 200 miles away so we decided to cancel.
Next morning I rang the saleman still had the show apologised and said we wished to cancel, he said we must ring the 'head office' they said 'we must put it in writing' which I posted together with a fax confirmation.
However we were then surprised to find that Sunday that the £2000 had already been taken from the credit card.
The following Thursday a 'Director' rang with the news that they had cancelled the contract BUt the £2,000 deposit was forfeited.
I naively thought that we had 5/7 days cooling off period in which to cancel when buying at a trade show
Since being retired I am not in a position to lose £2000 and felt coerced and under some duress and so reluctantly felt I had no option but to continue with the purchase which was to completed by March 2012.
Delivery dates was changed several times by them which by that time my health started to cause some concerns.They refused to deliver to my home (which I would have gladly paid for) since they insisted they needed to subject my existing caravan to a 'full workshop inspection' (I know have read some reviews which shows this gives them an opportunity to reduce the trade in price)although it was a 2008 model fully serviced each year.
By April my health had deteriorated to an extent that I needed an operation which meant I could not travel any distance and so we had to relucantly cancel 'again'.
In all the futile exercise cost us neaer £2,500 including altering our awning etc. I readily understand that dealers need some reasonable protection from spurious purchasers but I have bought 3 new caravans in my time from my local dealer with only £250 deposit.
We now wish that I had never gone to the show or heard of Wandahome who did absolutely nothing to help (did not even telephone) but still kept the £2,000.
My advice now is to refuse to give a deposit of more than £500 and if possible stick to local dealers